A pair of iPhone app from Omar Rabbolini, an Italian application developer currently resides in UK.
These pair of iPhone apps: CantoNotes and Hanzi Lookup, will help Cantonese speaking users not familiar with writing Chinese; like myself, learn to write Chinese characters.
CantoNotes will allow users to enter Chinese characters using the LSHK (Linguistic Society of Hong Kong) JyutPing standard phonemes input method and CantoNotes will respond with the corresponding Chinese character. Characters displayed can be copy and paste into the built in Hanzi Lookup screen. Rather than using the built in copy & paste feature of iPhone OS, the app use its own Copy and Paste buttons. Although the iPhone OS built in copy & paste feature also works. After pasting the desired Chinese characters into the Hanzi Lookup screen, it will display the Chinese character in a medium size font, along with the Cantonese pronunciation beneath it one character at a time.
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With the iPhone’s popularity growing every company out there are trying to think of ways to get in onto the platform and hype. Some of these companies deliver their online services to the iPhone and others used their custom developed iPhone application simply as an advertising tool. The latter are the ones that fail and turns out to be a waste of resources to create.
Now fashion brands are jumping onto the bandwagon with DKNY and Gucci each creating their own iPhone application to promote their respective clothing lines. The former actually trying to offer advice to its users on the Cozy wrap in its iPhone app. Now Kipling is trying to get in on the hype with its Kweather iPhone application. Kipling’s application displays the local temperature, which is not that accurate (not sure of its source), and a built in function to help locate the closest Kipling outlet.
Although all these applications are free, I believe only the biggest fanboy of the respective brands will download these application as they really do not offer too much for the average iPhone user.
I think companies should take the necessary time to analyze the added value of their iPhone application and all associated Use Cases before spending the efforts and resources to create an iPhone application.
NASA is an iPhone application released by USA’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
It is loaded with all sorts of information about the past and present missions of NASA, and is ideal for space enthusiasts plus anyone who has a slight interest in space exploration and wants to find out more.
The organization of the information presented in the application is very intuitive. One can search the content based on a particular mission or scan through the image and video libraries. While scanning through either of these libraries, one can search using keywords or filter the images and videos by source of the videos.
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Today Thomas B. (@thomashk) introduced me to an iPhone application, Hong Kong 720º, released by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB). It is designed to promote Hong Kong attractions while assisting visitors with locating famous tourist spots, and getting a virtual tour of the attractions before they arrive to help plan their visits to Hong Kong. Best of all this application is available in the iTunes App Store for free.
The application contains QuickTime VR tours of all the major tourist locations, including Google Map of the location, English and Chinese phrase for the tourist to show taxi drivers or others when they are lost, recommended travel directions, and photo gallery of the tourist attraction.
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I was introduced to this cool little iPhone application, AutoStich, that enables easy creation of panorama (pano) photos on the go.
Most pano maker applications on the Mac or on the iPhone (like PanoLab Pro) require the user to painstakingly aligns the different photos that make up the final pano image, including skewing any photos to adjust for the distortion (parallax), a side effect of not rotating the iPhone on the pano pivot point of the lens.
Amazingly, AutoStich does not require any assistance from the user, plus it is able to reorder the set of photos to their correct order, to ensure a smooth alignment of the final pano image.
At the price of FREE this little iPhone application is definitely worth more than its developer is asking for.
I had been using Twitter for since 2006 and the iPhone since its initial release in 2007. Through out these times I had been searching for the ultimate Twitter client on the iPhone and on my Mac.
Before I can get into the review of TweetDeck for iPhone, I have to provide some context. To understand this I must first explain my personal requirements.
My requirements for a Twitter client are quite different from the average Twitter user, but they should be very similar to most people in my situation. I personally do not believe in gaining as many followers as possible for my personal Twitter account, but more the quality of the people (peeps) I follow. Of course, that’s another story for the company Twitter accounts I manage. As a result the timelines for the different Twitter accounts I manage are huge and the updates fly by very fast.
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EatWillGrow is another one of those retro arcade style game with a twist.
The goal of the game is simple as with others games of this genre. You have a little green ball figure; with a smily face, that you manipulate on the screen collecting different sizes balls, while trying to avoid land mines; diamond shapes with red dot, if touch that will be game over.
The balls you collect come in different sizes and they flow down the screen in various patterns. I wish these patterns are random but they are the same each time. Mixed in the field of balls are bonus balls. Some of these balls when captured can slow down the game offering you a moment of rest, and others will speed up the game so that it can be even more challenging.
If that is all EatWillGrow does, it will be no different than the many cheap games on the NDS, fortunately there is more. How can an iPhone game, with any salt, be sucessful without using some of the native capabilities of the iPhone?
In the game you can choose to use the Steve Jobs stylus (your finger) to manipulate the little green ball figure around the screen, but that will be too lame even for the iPhone. So the devloper offers the player the option to use the iPhone’s built in accelerometer for manipulating the little green ball figure.
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From the folks at Vision Wise Inc. comes a game called Sticky Licky.
It is as addictive as any of the old arcade genre games you spent hundreds of quarters playing at the arcade parlor in the 80’s.
What it reminds me of is the old “Space Invaders” game. Of course, with much better looking graphics, even though Sticky chose to adapt the hand drawn simplicity style graphics.
Sticky is simple enough to play, even if you do not want to drill into its, built in multi pages, instructions. All you need is to arm yourself with the knowledge that clicking on the toad will extend its long tongue to draw insets into its mouth. Eating different types of bugs will score different points, and the goal is to get as high of a score as possible to reach the next level in the game.
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I got a copy of the iPhone application called “Poddio” created by the fellow Canadian, iPhone developer, VeriCorder Technology Inc. in Kelowna, British Columbia.
Poddio is an audio recorder with built in audio editing functions that you can only expects from a desktop application, at least until now.
Even with the upcoming Voice Recorder application built into iPhone firmware 3.0, it will not make this application obsolete. Actually according to the developer, “firmware 3.0 will allow us to bring enhancements to Poddio that was more difficult to implement before 3.0.”
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Now that the iPhone has been officially released for over four months, in four different countries. What is the most desired native application you wish someone, other than Apple, will release?
By “native” I mean application that runs on the iPhone without Safari (MobileSafari).
Before anyone say it, I do know about the vast number of 3rd party applications alresdy out there. I have used many of them, but what I am talking about here are the sanctioned 3rd party applications released by developers utilizing Apple’s official iPhone SDK.
My most desired is something that will be the IM (instant messenger) consolidator, like Adium on the Macintosh and Trillian on Windows. Currently there are MobileChat and Apollo from 3rd party developers, but neither works consistently nor do they allow simultaneous logins to multiple IM services at the same time.
The other thing that I really really wish the iPhone has is copy-and-paste. Apple being the first to made popular the concept of copy-and-paste in its Macintosh OS 24+ years ago, did not release a subset of Mac OS X for the iPhone with copy-and-paste, is very surprising. Now with 6 revisions of the iPhone firmware, we still have yet to see this feature on the iPhone. I wonder if a 3rd party using the official Apple SDK will be able to bring us this feature prevalent across every user interface and applications in the iPhone.
Another cool app will be something to do with the built-in camera on the iPhone. A simple application like MobilePhotoBooth or a more complexed application which will assist with uploading taken photos to the various photo sharing sites: Flickr, Smugmug, etc.. I know there are currently iFlickr and Pushr, but both are flaky and unstable.